Everard H. Smith III, of Washington, D.C., has called our attention to an unhappy example of America’s vigorous efforts to destroy the remnants of her recent past. Mr. Smith writes: Joan Paterson Kerr’s article in your April issue, “Gracious Record of a Connecticut Family,” struck a responsive chord in me as soon as I read it, for I spent my undergraduate career at Yale in Timothy Dwight College on Temple Street. Both of the fine old New Haven mansions shown in the photographs on page 77 were located less than half a block from the college. … The Trowbridge-Hotchkiss house, Nos. 310 and 312, served Yale for many years as a graduate art school dormitory. … It was copiously decorated with slogans of a populist nature during the Black Panther trial in May, 1970.
Mr. Smith sent us the photograph below, showing the house serving as an anachronistic billboard. Now both slogans and house have been replaced by the predictable parking lot. The picture at right shows the house shortly after the turn of the century. The handsome neoclassic building to the left has fared better than its neighbor and now houses the Yale University Press. The New Haven Library was soon to rise from the excavations in the foreground, where it stands today.